Wednesday, July 27, 2011

Lawmakers Refuse to Listen to Public

Column by Brendan Williams, who served in the Washington state House of Representatives from the 22nd District of Thurston County from 2005 through 2010. He is the former director of the Washington Health Care Association.

OLYMPIA, Washington -- In 2000, a jury found three men with developmental disabilities were physically and sexually abused, from 1994 through 1996, in a Bremerton adult family home. The jury awarded $17.8 million from the state.
The trial record reveals the men’s disabilities were so severe they could barely communicate through gestures, let alone articulate their torture. The state licensed their caregiver despite the fact he was previously fired for alleged abuse.
Washington saves considerable money through residential care of vulnerable Medicaid clients who formerly would have been in nursing homes. Yet it does so with what often seems to be little regard for care quality or safety, giving rise to episodic legal settlements, verdicts, and media exposés. These, in turn, are followed by public pronouncements of concern, and feel-good bills, largely leaving underlying problems unresolved.

No comments:

Post a Comment